The Siegel-Schwall Band
Along with the first-wave British Invasion bands like The Rolling Stones, John Mayall’s Bluesbreakers, and stateside groups like The Paul Butterfield Blues Band, The Siegel-Schwall Band were instrumental in The Great Blues Revival of the 1960’s. Serving as the house band at the famed Pepper’s Lounge, they earned their spurs backing greats like Muddy Waters, Howlin’ Wolf, Little Walter and Willie Dixon who came to jam with them.
From 1966 until they disbanded in 1974, they ranked among the most important forces in reaching the baby boomer audience that sustains the blues to this day. The Siegel-Schwall Band also pioneered the cross-fertilization of the blues with other forms, performing Bill Russo’s “Three Pieces For Blues Band and Symphony Orchestra” in 1968 with the Chicago Symphony and major symphony orchestras including San Francisco and Boston. Corky Siegel has continued this expansion of the blues with more symphonic blues compositions as well as his Chamber Blues project with classical string quartet and tabla..
The latest version of the Siegel-Schwall band included two other genuine notables, bassist Rollo Radford and drummer Sam Lay. Radford’s resume stretches from Martha & The Vandellas to Sun Ra, giving him the artistic range to follow wherever Siegel and Schwall wanted to take the blues. Lay’s credentials are extensive. His stellar work with Muddy Waters, Little Walter, Howlin Wolf, other blues masters and The Paul Butterfield Band earned him entry in both The Blues and The Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame.
Corky here: I began re-building these pages on June 7, 2016 - more coming soon. it's now June 13, 2017 - I can't believe it's been a year - and now it’s August 2019. This doesn’t look good for me. But I just got to hang with Jos Davisdon (our first bass player) talked to Sam and Rollo last night and do stay in touch with Jim. Now I’m inspired to add some stuff. Please check out the photos. Siegel-Schwall lovingly disbanded March 2016, our final date was at Turner Hall in Milwaukee.